Atlanta Falcons: Grading All of Thomas Dimitroff’s Draft Class
Aug 8, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) walks on the sideline before their game against the Miami Dolphins at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1 (pick 22): CB Desmond Trufant
Round 2 (pick 60): CB Robert Alford
Round 4 (pick 127): DE Malliciah Goodman
Round 4 (pick 133): TE Levine Toilolo
Round 5 (pick 153): Stansly Maponga
Round 7 (pick 243): Kemal Ishmael
Round 7 (pick 244): S Zeke Motta
Round 7 (pick 249): QB Sean Renfree
The Good: Dimitroff did a good job rebounding from the awful 2012 draft, in 2013. Following a loss in the NFC Championship game along with the losses of corners Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson, TD knew that he had to target a cornerback in this draft. He made a really good move, trading up from the 30th spot to the 22nd in an effort to get Desmond Trufant (sacrificing a 3rd rounder in the process). Tru was arguably the best player on a porous Falcons defense last year, and even proved to be a top 10 corner in the league as just a rookie. Dimitroff doubled down at the cornerback position, getting Trufant’s running mate, Robert Alford. Kemal Ishmael has been a decent safety for the team this year, and he even got a pic 6 in the blowout win against Tampa Bay, not too bad for a 7th rounder. He’ll be vaulted into the starting strong safety spot with William Moore going on short term IR for what looks to be eight weeks. Stansly Maponga has also been prudent whenever he’s gotten the chance to see the field in limited time as a rotational lineman.
The Bad: Levine Toilolo hasn’t been that good in the starting tight end role, but it was clear that he would probably never be much more than a blocker and a red zone threat (with his 6’8 frame). The criticism here isn’t about Toilolo, it’s about the fact that Dimitroff didn’t try harder to get a better tight end despite knowing that Tony Gonzalez was only going to play for one more year (Toilolo has potential, but he’s not a starting caliber player). Malliciah Goodman is also yet to prove himself. And if we hit the re-do button, TD would probably draft the star running back out of Alabama, Eddie Lacy, instead of Alford in the 2nd round. Alford’s been good, but nowhere near as good as Lacy, who had 1178 rushing yards along with 11 touchdowns as a rookie last year (Lacy was taken one pick after Alford).
Grade: B It was a good draft overall. Trufant and Alford have been turned into one of the game’s top CB duos. Kemal Ishmael and Stansly Maponga have also turned into very nice rotational players, you can’t ask much more from a couple of late round draft picks. Dimitroff gets a grade deduction because he didn’t do a better job of preparing for life after Tony Gonzalez: he did bring in Levine Toilolo, but the Stanford product isn’t really a pass catcher who could get the maximum benefit of being mentored by the greatest tight end ever, for a year. That and the fact that he didn’t get the consensus number 1 running back in the draft (by many experts) in the second round, even though running back was a need (arguably a bigger need that corner seeing as how Trufant was drafted in the first round).